Girija Jagannath, Member (A) -
(1.) THIS is an appeal against the order of the Appellate Deputy Commissioner (CT), Kurnool in appeal No. 11/97 -98(CTR), dated 12.12.1997 upholding the orders of the Commercial Tax Officer -II, Chittoor in Asst. No. 845/93 -94, dated 15.2.1997. The appellant is a Co -operative Society, which procures milk from its members, and sells pasteurised milk, butter -milk, flavoured drinks, Doodhpeda etc., all made out of milk. The Commercial Tax Officer, exempted a turnover of Rs. 26,99,30,030 -00ps., and assessed net turnover of Rs. 8,73,83,700 -00ps., which included the disputed turnover of Rs. 20,72,880 -00ps., relating to sale of milk drinks, butter milk, flavoured milk and Doodhpeda. The ground cited by the Commercial Tax Officer, is that appellant was not entitled to exemption of the disputed turnover in terms of G.O.Ms. No. 1091, Revenue dated 10.6.1957. The Appellate Deputy Commissioner, totally upheld the Commercial Tax Officer's order. The appellant is therefore aggrieved and before us in this appeal.
(2.) THE point to be considered is, whether the disputed turnover of Rs. 20,72,880/ - relating to sale of milk drinks, butter milk, flavoured milk and Doodhpeda is eligible for exemption vide. G.O.Ms. No. 1091, Revenue dated 10.6.1957. The lower authorities observed that G.O.Ms. No. 1091 is applicable only to those dealers dealing exclusively in fresh milk, curd and butter milk and their products realised by utilisation of surpluses thereof, whereas the dealer was an integrated milk project having the facility of pasteurising milk soon after the collection from the members and thereafter converting the same into cheese, milk powders, ghee, milk sweets etc. The Board of Revenue clarified that the provisions of the G.O. were not applicable to integrated milk projects producing pasteurised milk etc., vide, reference No. 2020/71, dated 29.10.1973. Further the dealer was producing milk products on a regular basis without waiting for the surplus of milk to accrue. The State Representative retired this ground.
(3.) WE cannot uphold this ground, because the G.O.Ms. No. 1091 does not make any distinction between petty vendors and integrated milk projects. The only requirement is that they should be dealers in fresh milk and its products made out of surplus of such milk as rightly pointed out by the counsel for the appellant. The make of by -products out of surplus milk need not be sporadic and as a last ditch effort, as in the case of the petty vendor. If the Co -Operative Union's Collection of milk are projected to exceed the daily off -take of fresh milk, the project can as well create permanent facilities for conversion of the surplus milk into by -products. The requirement that the dealer should wait for a time before converting the surplus into By -products unrealistic. A milk Co -Operative Society is an organised institution knowing its demand and supply position. It can therefore be equipped to sell milk as well as its by -products on a large scale which does not disqualify it from benefits under G.O.Ms. No. 1091. The Board of Revenue's reference relied on by the Commercial Tax Officer, is not relevant or binding, in view of the fact that sale of pasteurised milk has been subsequently exempted by the Government. There is no denying that the appellant is primarily a milk vendor even though it is pasteurising the milk before sale. Such sale during the year amounted to Rs. 11,25,09,590 -00ps. As contended by the counsel for the appellant, pasteurised milk is nothing but fresh milk, boiled to a certain degree of temperature and cooled in order to get rid of bacteria which spoil the milk.;